Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 -- Goals in Review

Yes, it seems that this time of year just about everyone does a post like this, but as far as I'm concerned, goals are something that are a very important part of my poker and my blog performance, so I'm going to go ahead and do it too. This is the time of year when I get to look back at my 2007 goals as stated here on the blog at the beginning of the year and assess my performance against those goals. I don't want to spend too much time here on New Year's Eve day, so let me jump right in, pasting right out of my January 2, 2007 post listing my six goals for 2007, along with how I think I fared on each of these points:

1. Win the Mookie. Oops. It's my first goal for 2007, and it's something I could not get done, despite as I discussed last week probably a good 43 tries. It's embarrassing, and it's pathetic, but I have to deal with the reality of the situation and in this case, that reality is that I did not accomplish my primary goal for all of 2007 when it comes to poker. Not sure what to say about that exactly. As I mentioned in a post last week, I made at least four final tables in the Mookie this year, and came what I consider to be very close on at least three occasions. I was heads-up against Surflexus with the chip lead and we got it allin before the flop with Surf about a 60-40 favorite over me, but one of my many outs hit the flop, the turn ragged off, and I was one card (and six outs, or 13 percentage points) away from achieving my goal sometime this summer. That one didn't work out (thank you, river!). I made it to the Mookie final 4 during the BBTwo with the big stack, but ran AQ into budohorseman's KK who ended up using pocket Kings twice in the last 15 minutes or so to post a big victory and leave me high and dry once again in a spot where, if I win with that AQ, I almost surely win the tournament. I made a third final table a week or two later in another BBTwo Mookie, also made it to the final 4 or 5 with a big chip stack, and then suffered a big suckout followed by a setup hand, also with AQ as I recall, and once again fell short. So in the end, I got close but clearly did not accomplish my goal as far as winning the only blogger tournament I still have yet to win. You will surely see this goal show up on my list of 2008 goals later this week, as well as some news on some interesting prop bet(s) related to my non-Mookie-winningness in the coming days.

2. Finish in the top ten in WPBT POY points. Now this goal, I don't even know what happened to it. I mean, I was totally into the first WPBT race back in 2006, as I came out for every tournament and I ended up in 4th place in what I thought was a really fun competition that included a lot of holdem and non-holdem games, and I was very proud and excited about that finish and about competing with the bloggers again in 2007. Somewhere along the way, what even happened to the WPBT? My fear is that the BBT might have kinda quashed it, since I don't even know if there were WPBT tournaments for the past several months, and if that is in fact the case then I see that as a sad and of course totally unintended result of what I think was otherwise an awesome development with the whole BBT thang. So although I surely did not achieve this goal either in 2007, I don't even know if it would have been achievable and I certainly don't view this one in particular as something I "failed" at during 2007 so much as one that just didn't happen, probably for a number of different reasons.

3. Attend another WPBT gathering in Vegas during 2007. Ding ding ding! Finally a goal that I actually achieved during 2007. I did in fact attend the June 2007 blogger gathering out in Vegas, taking my two Bracelet Races won and ending up cashing in my second-ever World Series of Poker tournament, this time the $1500 shorthanded nl holdem tournament. I also played in the WPBT tournament at the Orleans I think it was, which played off more like one of those 100-chip super-turbo full tilt tournaments than anything else, playing awesome and bubbling the final table for my second out of two live WPBT tournaments. And most of all, I renewed a number of great friendships forged at the 2006 gathering, as well as meeting tons of new people, new players and new bloggers this year, which ultimately is what these things are all about. Well, that and cashing in the fucking WSOP!!

4. Play in a large buyin live poker tournament. Here is another goal that I am happy to say I accomplished during 2007, several times over. In March or April, I played in the Caesar's WSOP Circuit Event, the $300 buyin nlh tournament, which was at the time the largest-buyin live tournament I had ever played in other than my WSOP flameout in the summer of 2006. I lasted maybe 7 1/2 or 8 hours, also my longest ever performance and deepest run in a live casino tournament of my poker career to that point. Around this time I also qualified for my first of what turned out to be three Monday 1k $1000 buyin tournaments on full tilt. The first and the last involved me busting within the first hour or two, but in the middle Monday 1k I played, a bunch of you were on the rail to see me heading towards the cash with about a top-third stack, flop a set of 3s against some jackass holding AJ in his hand who got it allin with me on the Q73 flop, and who then proceeded to go runnerrunner on my ass with the King on the turn and the Ten on the river to bounce me most unceremoniously just short of the large cash. And then of course there was my $1500 buyin WSOP 6-max nlh tournament during the WPBT gathering this past June, where I recorded what I still say is my greatest individual performance in cashing, outlasting around 95% of the 1527-player field on my way to winning a little over $2500 and building a memory that will doubtless last with me for my lifetime.

5. Continue to hone my HORSE game and to improve my play in general in the non-holdem games that are regularly available to play online. This is a goal that I easily met during 2007, although I don't even play HORSE nearly as much as I once did. After winning the weekly 30k guaranteed HORSE tournament on the first Sunday of the year in 2007, I played in that particular tournament maybe 4 or 5 more times, but it quickly ceased being a priority for me as I grew somewhat disillusioned with the incredibly donkchasey HORSE play available on full tilt at basically every level of buyin tournament I've played in. That said, I played quite a bit of HORSE overall during 2007, and more than that, I played in more than my fair share of Omaha tournaments, both inside and outside of the FTOPS, in addition to several razz tournaments, PLO sngs, cashing in my first-ever stud hilo tournament, and even dabbling a little bit in deuce-to-seven and draw poker on jackassstars before I quit that bullshit poker site for good somewhere around the middle of this year. I look very much forward to the Blogger Skill Series run by KOD which will feature a different non-holdem game every Tuesday night during 2008, something which I know will be fun and which I definitely expect to excel in. All that as long as I can keep myself from tilting and the generally highly idiotic chasedonky play exhibited by most people in any $12 buyin non-holdem limit tournament out there.

6. Write some more in the blog about non-poker endeavors. Again, this is one I think I have done a very good job at during 2007. I made it a real point during this year to extend myself beyond the almost exclusively poker that I wrote about during 2006. That said, I also made a conscious effort not to let this space become a completely non-poker-related blog, and I think I succeeded well on both counts. When I thought the previous night's Lost episode was particularly good, you read about it here. When I called some little kid's mom a bad word in a prominent New York City museum's cafeteria, you read about it here. And when I watched the biggest bunch of cheating assholes go undefeated in the NFL for an entire season, you were the first to know my thoughts. I am happy about that, and I might address this goal again in some form when I write up my 2008 poker- and blog-related goals later in the week. We'll just have to wait for that.

So overall, how do I assess my performance against my stated goals here for 2007? I would say very well overall. Not winning a Mookie tournament is a major black mark on my poker resume as far as I'm concerned, don't get me wrong, and I make no bones about that fact whatsoever. I still can't believe myself that this hasn't happened for me yet. But aside from that, I played a bunch of great poker in 2007, and I had several of my biggest-ever successes at this game in during the year. I performed very well in the games that I focused the most on by far -- in 2007, that would clearly be the blonkaments, which I will write a bit more about later this week as well -- and yet I also stepped it up and played outside of my comfort zone in a number of larger tournaments that I honestly would never even have dreamed I could be playing in just a few short years ago. And believe me, if I had thought that actually cashing and playing very, very well in the actual World Series of Poker was even remotely possible, that itself would have been a specific goal of mine for this year, so I can't feel anything but awesome about that whole thing either. Overall, I will need to spend some time this week searching my soul for what I plan to focus on during 2008, and setting up goals relating to that purpose once I've figured it all out (I honestly don't know yet as I sit here right now). But I had an absolute blast playing with and reading you guys during 2007 and I can't wait for more of the same during the coming 12 months as we head into a new year of blogging, blog reading, and playing this game we all know and love.

A very, very Happy New Year to everyone out there reading this, and I'll be back later in the week with some forward-looking and even some more backward-looking commentary for you all to chew on.

Btw, don't forget, tonight is the last Mondays at the Hoy of the year on full tilt:

10pm ET tonight, password as always is "hammer". Tonight will be a $26 buyin HORSE tournament to celebrate the last MATH of 2007. I plan to be there, and anyone else with nothing better to do on New Years Eve than play online poker should feel more than free to join in and donk it up!

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Friday, December 28, 2007

Hoy Haters Top Five

This being the last Friday of the year, and in a slow week for blog reading at that, I thought what better for today than to do a post about the top five Hoy Haters™ of 2007. Now let me tell you, this is not an easy quest to distill all of my loving and loved Hoy Haters down to just five. I mean, I wanted to make sure to include things said in people's own blog posts and comments made on my posts, but I also wanted to include blog comments made on other people's blogs as well as things I know have been said behind my back in order to truly get a sense of who is out there hating on good ol' Hoy the most. What I have put together in today's post is hopefully an accurate depiction of the people who slam on me, belittle me, insult my play, insult me personally, and just generally trash on me every chance they get more than anyone else in all the various media and other opportunities they have.

There are plenty of secret Hoy Haters out there btw, don't think I don't know it. Some of the biggest names in all of poker blogdom are secret Hoy Haters. They think I don't know anything about it, but I do. I hear it from lots of people. People who actually like me more than they like them, so they pass all the Hoy Hating comments right on to me when they hear it themselves. And the Hoy Haters is a fucking large group, let me tell ya.

So, without further adieu, I list the top five Hoy Haters of 2007 for your viewing pleasure:

5. LJ. No list of the top Hoy Haters of the year could be complete without including the person who wrote that post just a week or two ago about me. Deep down I don't think LJ feels a whole lot of actual hate for me, which is why she is this far down the list. As far as LJ's motiviation for her Hoy Haterness, I think in this case it is quite evident. Here in the blog I have questioned some of the plays she has made that I have seen, and she does not take kindly to that sort of thing. Plain and simple. So she has retaliated in the form of that special post from earlier this month, and I say have at it. But LJ comes in as the #5 Hoy Hater of 2007 thanks to this post and the underlying feelings that obviously gave rise to such emotion and anger to lead her to author said post. Nice work, LJ, this is a hard list to crack.

4. Waffles. I know, I know, you're wondering what on earth is a World of Warcraft blogger doing on my top 5 Hoy Haters list? It's a good question. But let's not forget, there was a time earlier this year when Waffles used to be an actual poker blogger -- and I don't mean about winning "buyins" or getting "sucked out on" in the 5-cent / 10-cent cap limit games either. I mean actual poker. And if you rewind in your minds to the early part of this year, Waffles was really furious at me for a good little while in there, and frankly the Hoy Hatred that was born and nurtured during those days has never really left the ole' sap. There was probably two weeks straight during the Spring of 2007 when Waffles wrote about me in his blog just about every single day, and it was always bad. Later I would discover that he was angry at me for telling the truth about the sick sick run of cards he got hit in the face with when he took down his first and only MATH tournament, back in the days when it was still on shitheadstars as I recall. Once he admitted this to me, then at least I had a frame of reference for where a guy whom I have generally defended as a fun blog to read and a fun guy to mess around with would get these kinds of feelings about me from, but nothing could be done to stem the Hoy Hatred that had already started to well up within poor Waffles. So the daily negatory posts about me eventually stopped for a while, but the guy never really stopped being a Hater. You can see it in his little references here and there in his blog today, even this month and once every few weeks over the past several months. You can even see it with the way he jumps on posts like LJ's fun post I referenced above, and in the comments he leaves on a number of other people's blogs whenever they themselves put up a Hoy Hatery post. Face it, Waffles is a Hoy Hater through and through, and even though we may not have interacted as much this year as we have in the past, the underlying sentiment he feels for me is always there, lurking and waiting to rear its ugly head once again whenever the man sees fit. Good times.

3. Dr. Zen. Oh good Doctor, where have you gone? My avid readers will remember a good long time there where Dr. Zen -- who does have a blog but I am far too lazy to look on more than the first google page when I just searched for it -- was leaving Hoy Hatery comments all over my blog at every chance he got. And I'm not talking about these assholey spammer guys. This guy actually read my blog, and just truly thinks I am the worst poker player on the earth, and not only had no problem but really got significant enjoyment out of telling me that again and again and again at every chance he got. I could post a hand analysis where I dominated another player and took his entire stack, or one where I played it bad and admitted as much right in my post, and there was Dr. Zen to rip me four new ones every single time anyways. And he was always sure to attack the very essence of my blog in general while he was here as well, questioning why I always try to make myself look great when I really fucking blow anus at poker, why I post so many hands where I "got lucky" and won instead of showing all the hands I am obviously losing at given the shitty way I play the game, etc.

In attempting to discern Zen's motiviation for his Hoy Hatred, it took only a quick look at his own blog to determine that Zen is indeed a truly very angry, fucked up fellow. He's jealous and he is angry and pretty much unable to cope with the anger he feels towards people who he comes into contact with. Quite simply, Zen found my blog, probably pretty quickly realized he did not understand my poker greatness, and reacted in the only way he knows / knew how. With Zen, it was much less the content of his commentary on my blog and much more the attitude he always took in his comments. I use the past tense only because it's been a while since Zen made an appearance here at hammerplayer, and if memory serves, the last comment he did leave here some months ago might actually have been to take my side on something! Nonetheless, as I think back on the year, Dr. Zen's Hoy Hatred definitely rises near the forefront of all the many Haters I have had going on during 2007. So thanks Zen for the memories, even if you never deign to grace us again with your wit and poker knowledge.

2. Kajagugu. Now this one is a blog that I actually like reading, so at first I was a bit perplexed as to where exactly the Hoy Hatred was coming from here. But then it hit me all at once. In Kaja's case, I do read his blog quite frequently, recently adding him to my blogroll here at hammerplayer, and as with most blogs I read, I will comment when it strikes me to, and certainly when some people ask for readers' feedback. In Kaja's case, it seems he simply cannot handle negative criticism as well as one would like. I have left maybe three or four comments total on Kaja's blog over the past several months, indicating my disagreement with the way he played a particular hand, or in at least one case, with his complete silly mischaracterization of a hand that I played against him. The most experienced and seasoned bloggers among us all have a fair number of haters, enough that the negatory stuff like this more or less rolls right off of us. But some people aren't anywhere near that point yet, and/or may never reach that point, and here is where I see Kaja. One of my least favorite things about the blogosphere is how players who lose money or who are on tilt or who are having a bad day or whatever combination of these and other things will often use negative blog comments about other people to help make themselves feel better about their own issues. A lot of the people on this list actually fall squarely into this category, and I am proud to say that no one could ever argue I am one of these. I've never posted anything but my honest-to-goodness feelings about anything written about on anyone's blog. But a good number of others use blog comments as a way to work through their own anger, their own inadequacies, whatever it is. And when Kaja saw me disagree with him in a few of his posts -- some of which he specifically has asked for everyone's opinion on, mind you -- his natural reaction has been to come over to my blog and leave negative comments right back to me. Sadly, my reactions were genuine to the questions he has asked on his blog, whereas his feelings as expressed in the many negative comments he has left here or written about me in his own blog seem to be just negative reactions that actually have nothing to do with his honest opinion on anything he has read here or seen me do. Kaja's Hoy Hatred is a revenge-Hatred, and it has earned him the #2 spot on the list of top Hoy Haters of 2007. Kaja's blog is actually really a good read to me and I truly believe he has come into his own this year as far as learning to write more from his heart and with his own sense of style and propriety, and despite the Hoy Hatred coming from him I will continue to read as long as he continues to write, but I did want to acknowledge him here and make it known that I have in fact seen much of the not-so-nice stuff he has to say about me here, there and all over the place whenever he gets the chance. Keep it coming my man!

1. And the number one Hoy Hater of 2007 has got to be Blinders. Blinders has dedicated probably a good 20 or 25 posts just to me on his blog since the middle of the year or so, and miraculously all of them painting me in a negative light. He has left nasty comments about me in just about every one of your blogs out there. He has left his mark here, with comment after comment after comment on my own blog, again always painting an insulting, negative picture of me, my play and everything that is Hoy. To me, this is just sad. I've always secretly enjoyed Blinders' blog, and just as with the above, it is clear that Blinders has a mental block about giving an honest opinion about someone once they have deigned to disagree with something he has said on his own blog. As I said, to me that is sad, because I have never left Blinders or anyone else a comment on his blog with any motivation other than giving my honest feelings about whatever I'm writing about. But some others, Blinders definitely included, don't treat making comments on others' blogs the same way, whether they realize it or not. Blinders has trashed me up and down every possible opportunity he has had in 2007, and that is how he has earned himself the top spot on the Hoy Haters list for the year. But the worst part of all is that Blinders and I both know exactly the real reason his Hatred has climbed to such lofty levels in the second part of this year. It's not something I'm even going to write about here because I always aim not to embarrass anyone. But he knows it, I know it, and a few of you out there know it as well. No reason to get into it here, but believe me when I say I think it is the saddest thing of all that I get continually lambasted by a guy in every forum he can possibly conceive of, all for some reason that has nothing to do with the actual substance of any of his criticism of me. I guess I would like to see that change in 2008, but only if Blinders wants it to. I can handle things the way they are, and some part of me secretly enjoys reading all of the negative stuff from all the Haters, which with Blinders in particular has risen to the point (a long time ago actually) of being more or less funny to me and a bunch of guys who actually know what's really going on here.

I also wanted to list a couple of Honorable Mention Hoy Haters for 2007, as I certainly don't want to slight anyone who has taken time and energy out of their valuable schedules during this year to go out of their way to make me look and feel bad. The two honorable mentions for this year's Hoy Haters include Lucko, for about 50 negative blog comments, untruths, and just general overreactions for reasons unknown, as well as to Evil Wonka -- I never know which Wonka is which but I believe EW is this one -- for some of the downright silliest and just poorly-conceived comments I have ever received on my blog this year, as well as the usual smatter of negative stuff on his own blog. In other years, guys, you could have made this list for sure. But you need to be a certain kind of Hater to make this list for a guy like me, and you two just barely missed the kind of fervor and venom needed to really crack into the top five. Maybe next year.

Anyways, to everyone who made the list of top Hoy Haters this year, let me say thank you and congratulations. You've been recognized for your contributions to our community, and any attention is good attention, right? You have let your non-poker-related emotions get the best of you, you have bastardized the institution of blog commenting, you have spent your valuable time and energy devising ways to exact revenge on undeserving people under the guise of genuine poker commentary. But you know what? All five of the people on this list to me have enjoyable blogs to read. And I'm going to continue reading them. I know some of you won't be able to resist for all the reasons I just said above going on your own blog and trashing me for this post. I look forward to it. I will keep posting my genuine thoughts, and you can keep using your blogs and my and others' blog comments as vehicles for revenge and for working through your own insecurities and shortcomings. I'll keep reading, and I will keep linking my readers to what you have to say when I find it particularly useful or entertaining. Even if you're slamming all over me. I look forward to a great 2008 in the blogs of the people mentioned above as well as with all of you out there reading this.

Now don't forget Kat's Donkament tonight, 9pm ET on full tilt, password as always is "donkarama". If I available at 9pm ET tonight, then of course I will be there as I go for my third donkament title of the year to end a very successful year in blonkaments for me. But more on that next week as 2007 draws to a close. Have a great weekend everyone. Especially the Hoy Haters!

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Curse Lives

That's right everybody. This is just a brief post today to remind everyone as 2008 comes to a close that my own personal Mookie Curse lives on. Lucky for you all, this particular curse only seems to affect me in any consistent, disgusting way, but it is truly recockulous the way I get beat out of this thing mostly every week. It's unspeakable, that's what it is. This is The-Curse-That-Must-Not-Be-Named, right here in the flesh, and I am living through it.

I would estimate that thanks to the Mookie conflicting with the television scheduling of Lost, I probably missed a grand total of 9 of the 52 Mookie tournaments so far this year, meaning I probably played in 43 of them. Of the 43, I won, of course, exactly zero, giving me 43 bustout hands just during 2007 in the weekly Wednesday night Mookie tournaments. Of those 43, I would estimate that no more than 10 to 12 of them involved me actually getting in when I was behind. Of the other 30 or so bustouts, then, they are probably pretty close to evenly split between suckouts and setups, most of them utterly recockulous in nature. Reviewing my own personal year in Mookie's, these are the ones that stick out the most in my mind. I'm talking about Surf resucking out on me on the river in heads-up with him having just six outs to prevent me from winning my first and only ever Mookie title. I remember the other two Mookie final tables during the BBTwo, one of which saw me run AQ into KK allin preflop against a guy who should have been eliminated a few hands earlier if LJ had not folded to his hammer at amazingly poor pot odds to lay it down, and the other which was also some ghey setup the details of which I cannot recall right now. But it was bad and I was going to win the tournament if not for that hand, whatever it was. I remember thepokergrind or maybe it was pokerenthusiast getting allin against my KK with his JJ and then flopping quads. And there are many many many more stories just like that, all from this same little tournament that now yet another player has won but I have not as of this week.

And my elimination this week fits very very nicely into that same exact vein of suckout and setup stories. Not sure which kind I actually like worse, but this week was definitely the setup kind. I'm in third place out of 21 players remaining of the 51 runners who started this thing, having played well and recording no suckouts of course along the way to get to that point. I limp in to a 3-way pot with A4o. The flop comes down 64x, no suits. I don't remember what the x was, but trust me it was not material to the situation and created no draws, maybe a Ten or something, I don't know. It was either checked around or maybe there was a small bet by me, I don't recall and it really doesn't matter. The turn comes and it's another 4. I am stylin with trips and top kicker. I bet a reasonable sized bet on the turn, which muhctim raises huge over on my right. I ponder the situation, rexcognize that although I do not have the nuts, I do have a hand that beats the vast majority of the range of hands that muhctim would be raising with here (i.e., any other 4 in his hand that does not make a boat, and maybe two pairs as well). Plus, his raise was so huge -- something like 6 or 7 times my turn bet -- that I figured there's no way he is super-strong here. If anything, with that rather obviously large bet, I figured him for a low 4 and I was about to take a massive chip lead into the final 20 players.

I reraise allin, and muhctim thinks for a few seconds before typing "no way I can lay this down". When I saw this I was laughing all the more, knowing that with any of the four hands that actually beat my A4, there would be no hesitation and no doubt about his call. But what does he flip up? Pocket 6s. Indeed, one of the four hands that beat me, and IGH in 21st place. Abjectly sick is what that is. Just like so many of the other setup hands I have fallen victim to this year in the Mookie, if that third 4 does not fall on the turn, of course I don't lose another dime in this pot, let alone my entire huge stack of over 12,000 chips. But I defy anyone who says they would have gotten away from that hand in that spot. And if you would have, then you are laughable in my book. Period. End of story. Oh I'm sure certain dickheads will claim they would have gotten away to the big raise with top trips on the raggy board, but don't worry -- I have too much respect for those people's games to really believe the drivelcrap they regularly post here under the guise of "comments". I know exactly what's going on with most of the Hoy Haters™ and exactly why they come here to post what they post in reaction to my daily poker musings. But this was just another in a long line of sick setups and gross bustouts for me in the Mookie, putting a capper onto what was a great year for me in blonkaments in general, but utterly and completely despicable as far as the Mookie.

Amazingly, someone told me today I am still in the top 15 or something in Mookie winnings for all of 2007. That, my friends, is an indictment of you all. In terms of overall skill of play exhibited in the Mookie this year, I will happily take the top 15 banner and wear it proudly. But total winnings? You guys are all embarrassments to your race, and to poker players and bloggers everywhere.

And with that, I will end today's semi-rant post. This one should be easy for hoysynopsis to distill down into one or two lines.

Btw I'm still taking ideas for a fun prop bet between myself and Mookie at least, if not with others as well, regarding winning the Mookie in 2008. Mookie and I, both never having won his weekly private tournament despite having played it probably close to a hundred times apiece at this point, are considering a private prop bet fo 2008 on who wins this thing first, but I would love any and all creative ideas on how such a prop bet could work. Anyone out there have any good, interesting ideas other than the run-of-the-mill $10 from one of us to the other for whoever wins the Mookie first in 2008?

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Mookday, MATH Recap and Monday 1k Donkery

Greetings to everyone and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas or at least some nice time off with yourself, your family and/or friends even if you don't celebrate like this blogger. For many of you it is now back to the grind for the next few days heading into the New Years holiday next Monday in the U.S., but for me it is more time off as I have a very much needed vacay from work throughout the remainder of this year. This should give me some time to blog a little bit, and I will tell you that I am working on a nice -EV post on turbo sitngo strategy that I am hoping to crack out for y'all sometime in next week is my guess. It will probably come in several parts, but if nothing else I am looking forward to how Hoy Synopsis goes about distilling those badboys down into summary posts.

So the Christmas Eve $6 rebuy turbo super-double-secret special MATH tournament on Monday night had 12 runners, and full tilt almost got the structure exactly right for what I had requested. I say "almost" because, although the format was turbo like I asked and that did include the 30-minute rebuy I had requested, it was not in the end the exact same structure as the nightly turbo rebuy satellites that full tilt regularly runs. Those turbo satellites feature a 30-minute rebuy period, followed by a 2-minute break and an add-on, and then an hour-long session by the end of which the winners are quite often already determined. For the MATH this week, there was instead a 30-minure rebuy period, no break, and just another 30 minutes of non-rebuy poker immediately following the end of rebuy time. And the funniest part of all was that after an hour of turbo play, then full tilt allowed us all to add on for an additional $6 the original starting numebr of chips of 1000, which starting after the end of the first hour equated to exactly two big blinds. Not smart. Nonetheless, a good time was had by all and I have to say I am really enjoying getting back to the fun of the blonkaments now that the BBTwo has come and gone.

Long story short, I absolutely dominated the MATH rebuy this week. I was in the middle of the pack after the first hour, but I quickly built up my stack, busting several players in the process, and by the time we were 5- or 6-handed at the final table, I had a big chip lead. I just kept adding and adding to my stack all through the end game, such that when I got heads-up with cemfredmd, who was playing at his first-ever Hoy final table, I had about an 8.5-to-1 chip lead. After a couple of folds I think my chip lead had dropped to around 5-to-1, and then I was dealt pocket Queens which I slow-played preflop for only one raise, opting to push allin on a raise on the raggy flop that fell. Unfortunately for me, my pocket Queens were up against cem's ultimate setup hand of pocket Aces (heads up!!), and suddenly we were nearly even in chips. To make matters worse, a few hands later and still with the chip lead, cem got it allin again on the flop with a naked flush draw on a Q54 flop, which I called with my pocket Tens. Turn rag, river flush card and I was crippled. So my nearly 9-to-1 chip lead disappeared over the span of maybe 5 minutes on what amounted to a massive recockusetup followed by a suckout, and before I knew it I was out in second, and cem had won his first ever MATH tournament.

The three cashers from this week's MATH event were:

1. cemfredmd -- $126
2. hoyazo -- $75.60
3. TheCloserX5 -- $50.40

And here is the updated MATH moneyboard for 2007, including the results of this week's tournament:

1. Columbo $1823
2. cmitch $1703
3. Bayne_s $1400
4. Hoyazo $1238
5. RaisingCayne $1110
6. Surflexus $1107
7. Daddy $999
8. twoblackaces $931
9. LJ $867
10. Lucko21 $815
11. Kajagugu $806
12. swimmom95 $804
13. Fuel55 $802
14. Astin $793
15. Pirate Wes $792
16. VinNay $775
17. Tripjax $759
18. IslandBum1 $754
18. Numbbono $754
20. Iggy $745
21. Gary Cox $734
22. Blinders $720
23. NewinNov $677
24. Waffles $650
25. XxMagiciaNxX $630
26. JJ $630
27. Mike_Maloney $612
28. ScottMc $597
29. Jamyhawk $576
30. Buddydank $553
31. riggstad $537
31. Chad $537
33. Emptyman $513
34. Byron $510
35. Julius Goat $507
36. bartonf $492
36. mtnrider81 $492
38. PokerBrian322 $490
39. wormmsu $475
40. scots_chris $474
41. whiskigrl $467
42. jeciimd $460
43. RecessRampage $434
44. Otis $429
45. leftylu $424
46. Miami Don $402
47. Zeem $389
48. Joe Speaker $384
49. Jordan $382
50. cardgrrl $371
50. lightning36 $371
52. ChapelncHill $353
53. OMGitsPokerFool $324
54. buckhoya $312
54. oossuuu754 $312
56. Mookie $304
57. Wigginx $288
58. Fishy McDonk $277
59. actyper $276
60. Irongirl $252
60. Manik79 $252
62. Wippy1313 $248
63. Easycure $244
64. Garthmeister $216
64. wwonka69 $216
66. Omega_man_99 $210
67. katiemother $209
68. Pushmonkey72 $208
69. Thepokergrind $198
70. bsquared25 $194
71. StatikKling $180
72. 23Skidoo $176
73. Santa Clauss $170
74. jimdniacc $166
75. Iakaris $162
75. Smokkee $162
77. cemfredmd $156
78. lester000 $147
79. Heffmike $145
80. Julkeus $144
81. brdweb $143
82. DDionysus $137
83. Patchmaster $135
84. InstantTragedy $129
85. cemfredmd $126
86. NinaW $120
87. UnTiltable $118
88. Fluxer $110
89. -o-LuckTruck-o- $103
90. hoops15mt $95
91. Gracie $94
91. Scurvydog $94
93. DaBag $84
93. Shag0103 $84
95. mattazuma $82
95. crazdgamer $82
97. PhinCity $80
98. Presidentdave $79
99. maf212 $78
100. evy35 $72
101. Alceste $71
101. dbirider $71
103. kevin-with-AK $66
104. Rake Feeder $53
105. TheCloserX5 $50

For those of you wondering how I did in the Monday 1k buyin tournament on full tilt, I donked it up hard on what I knew even then was a really bad play, maybe 40, 45 minutes in to the tournament, that I think shows really well how important it is to go with your read and to not call of your chips like a fonkey unnecessarily. I raised it up from 3x middle position before the flop with pocket Tens, and the player in the small blind reraised me 3x, which I called to see a heads-up flop with the fifth-best (maybe 6th) possible starting holdem hand. Easy, standard call as far as I'm concerned. The flop came down a fuly raggy 822, and my opponent bet out around the size of the pot. I was concerned -- those of you who railed me will note that I paused for some time even here on the flop to ponder the best response -- and for some reason I opted to just smooth call his bet. Here I figured he could have been on a middle pair slightly lower than mine, or maybe AK or conceivably AQs, and by just calling I was hoping he would slow down on the turn, or at least that an Ace or a King would come so I could get away from my overpair pocket Tens. I knew he had reraised me a standard amount preflop and that was indicative of a strong hand, but I made the decision that I was not quite sure enough he had a higher pocket pair from just his standard flop c-bet, and I was not quite ready to give up the hand yet. A real man would probably either fold or raise here, but I fucked it up and played too passively in a situation that simply does not call for passivity when you hold a medium pocket overpair on the flop against a preflop reraiser.

The situation only got worse on the turn, which came down an ultimately raggy offsuit 5. This time my opponent moved allin into what was now already a large pot, and I must have sat there for a good minute, using up my alloted time and part of my time bank while I contemplated where I had gone wrong with the hand. For some reason, even though I had told myself when I called donkishly on the flop that I would fold to any action on the turn, when I actually saw that action on the turn, and the huge number of chips in the pot, that nagging feeling in the back of my head starting piping up. And let me tell you guys, the nagging voice back there is almost never right. I rely on my reads almost exclusively when I play poker, but not that guy. The one with the nagging, skeptical voice about everything. The guy back there always saying "really?" and "no way!". That guy is stoopid, that guy is not analytical, and that guy is -EV. But on this night, I let him get the best of me, talking myself into thinking that the very action I said would cause me to fold quick now somehow represented instead the desperate push of a busted big slick. Knowing that he might be likely to play 99, A8 or AK in this way, and basically ignoring the preflop reraise and my read all along that he probably had a higher pair, I went ahead and slid all my chips in on the turn there after much thought, basically knowing the whole way that I was calling off my stack in an uncharacteristic fonkplay by me. He flipped up pocket Kings (der der der!) and IGH early, in the first round. Sad, but I brought it on myself 100% and I have nothing and no one -- not bad luck, not the full tilt rng server, not the other player, nada -- to blame for it but myself.

Just chalk it up to lessons learned I guess. When I smooth called this guy on the flop, I figured I was probably behind and decided then and there that I could smooth call here because I knew I would fold to any action from him on the turn unless I myself improved. Well, I got that action, and instead of following through with my own promise, I called off my stack with one pair on the turn like the uberdonkey that I played like that night. That my friends is some baaaaaad poker right there. Haters, rejoice!

So don't forget the Mookie tonight, 10pm ET on full tilt, password is "vegas1" as always. I am already registered and so should you be for the biggest donkey kong game played by the bloggers every week online. And to follow up suggestions from Mookie as well as from Trip I received last week, if anyone out there has any fun ideas for prop bets I can participate in for 2008 given that I've never won a fucking Mookie title in all my life, I would love to hear them. Effing Trip even had the nerve to suggest that I should give him odds in that endeavor. I'll state here for the record what I told Trip in the girly chat last week -- if anyone is giving up odds in a battle of who will win the Mookie first in 2008, it's everyone else to me. I can't play for shit in this thing, I lose dominated pairs to flopped quads, I've been sucked out on every which way but Sunday at the final table, on the river, in this thing. You all should be giving me odds in this, not the other way around. You'll get no odds from me in any prop bet that involves someone winning the Mookie before I do next year. So don't even think about it.

See you tonight at the Mook!!

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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas, MATH is ON, as is the Monday 1k

Merry Erev Christmas everybody! In case you're wondering, that is "Jew" for Christmas Eve, and I do hope everyone has a wonderful holiday for those of you celebrating this evening and tomorrow. I know it's a sort-of holiday so many of you won't be around and reading blogs on the day, but I wanted to mention a couple of quick things. First and foremost, for those of you who will be around and online on Monday evening, I am running the second-to-last Mondays at the Hoy of the year in its regularly scheduled slot of 10pm ET tonight on full tilt:

As I mentioned last week, tonight's MATH will be a special format in honor of the smaller field and holiday celebration for many of you Christ worshippers out there. Specifically, tonight we will be playing full tilt's standard evening turbo rebuy satellite structure, which a $6 buyin. I did this #1 to mix things up on an otherwise slow night, and #2 in response to comments to last month's $10 rebuy that an even smaller buyin might be better for most bloggers. Now, being Christmas Eve, I don't expect most bloggers to be online tonight at all, but for those who come, the idea tonight is to just relax, have some fun and donk it up for the 30-minute rebuy period followed by the remaining hour or so that I would expect a turbo event to take. And again tonight's MATH tournament will follow full tilt's own standard turbo rebuy structure, so there shouldn't be any surprises for anyone who does come out and play. For me, Christmas Eve is the perfect night to be playing on full tilt, because nothing else is open anyways, there's not much of interest to me and my kind on tv (none of the weekly prime time shows are new, that's for sure), and most of all, the crowds are likely to be smaller than usual on a night when I highly doubt full tilt will otherwise be lowering the guarantees for its usual nightly guaranteed tournaments. So come out tonight at 10pm ET on full tilt to play Mondays at the Hoy, with a password as always of "hammer", and I hope to see you there, whether you are a long time blogger or a "Hoy virgin" as we always seem to come up with most weeks these days.

In other poker news, I'm excited to report that last night I qualified once again for the Monday 1k, a $1000 + $60 buyin tournament on Monday nights at 9pm ET that carries with it a $150k guarantee. This will equal the largest buyin tournament I have ever participated in on full tilt, which I have done now three times, all three of them being this Monday 1k event (this week being the third), so that aspect of things is exciting if nothing else. I made an actual effort to qualify for this on Sunday, not something that is usually on my radar screen, but I did so because again, as I mentioned above, if nothing else I expect this field to be a little lighter than usual, and that is all good when there's already a 150k guarantee going and when the general level of skill in this thing is somewhere north of "uber donk", something I would not normally say about the games I most often frequent on full tilt. For $1060 a pop, if you're expecting stellar play then you are going to be sorely disappointed, but at least people won't donk allin on the first hand with top pair no kicker, won't call with just oesd's on the turn and similar nonsense that over the long term will just throw their buyins away.

So with all this in mind, first I played the 10:45pm ET $26 buyin satellite into the Monday 1k on Sunday night, but in that one I believe I was literally the first player out out of 26 runners when my AK ran into KK on a King-high board just a few hands in. Yay me, see even I play far more donkishly for $26 than I ever would for $1060. So then I did the unthinkable and registered for an 11:30pm ET mtt satellite for the Monday 1k with a $75 buyin, using one of my constant storehouse of tokens won from the nightly token frenzy tournament that I have so loved to frequent this year. In the end, there were only 11 runners in this thing, but due to the $1060 buyin of the underlying tournament, it still was winner-take-all (much like the early $26 buyin satellite) which is not my usual preference for such things. But I am a big fan of playing in tournaments with overlays, and in this case we had 11 players ponying up $69 apiece to the pool for a total prize pool of $759, while the tournament awarded exactly one $1060 seat. So for a total overlay of right around 40% of the actual cash prize pool, there was no way I could stay away from this one.

I got a little bit lucky very early in this 11-player satellite when within the first five hands, I was faced with this situation on the river:

I had played pretty slow given my meh stating cards, but being in the big blind I felt that K9s was surely playable. The Ace on the flop had scared me a bit, but then this river allin came kinda out of nowhere and I just couldn't find a fold to a guy I figured probably had some kind of low Ace. Obviously any two pairs with an Ace, or the obvious straights on the board had me beat, but I went ahead and made the call and saw this:

Setup hand for him, and well played on all streets by me. So this early doubleup basically took me to the final table as one of the two large stacks, but with a ton of low-M poker still to be played:

I won a nice pot with pocket Kings in the early stages of the final table, and I made some big folds like K8 on a KJ9 flop to a minraise on the flop against an aggressive player, figuring that with my big stack I had no reason to risk losing a lot of chips and my favorable chip position with such a mediocre hand in the hand. I moved allin over the top before the flop from the button against an early position short stack's allin with my 99, ended up racing against AQ, and my 9s mercifully held up which is always nice early at a final table that you really want to win. I won a top pair hand with KQ as well against this flush-chasing donkey to my left who simply could not lay down a flush draw to save his life, and kept hitting them against myself and other players which was super annoying, but with five players left at the final table here was the situation:

So I was still looking good, though I had another similar sized stack across the table from me, and this guy LegacyRik on my left, the flush chasing soooted donk, who somehow has actually won close to 100k lifetime from full tilt on mtts. He was the guy who scared me the most because of his penchant for betting and calling with flush draws and seeming to hit them far more often than the 35% flop odds would dictate.

Speaking of which, I actually had this fucker eliminated shortly after this point here when I made the unlikely backdoor flush on the turn, which I had bet my top pair with on the flop and the soooted donk had called me so I knew he wasn't on another flush draw as well. So I raised him allin quickly on the river, trying to act like an overconfident bluffer:

Unfortunately LegacyRik beat me into the pot with this:

Fucking unreal. Have I mentioned how often I lose with made two-card flushes in this game? My lifetime record is so negative with made flushes and no pair on the board that it's not even funny guys. Dammit if I can understand how I lose so often with made freaking backdoor flushes even, but somehow I find a way. I bet this guy just about the size of the pot on the turn too, which he called instantly being the flush chasing donk ("FCD") that he is. Dam him and dam full tilt for continually rewarding the fukdonkery.

Anyways, one lucky hand later where he called a preflop allin with the jackace of all things -- sooooted of course, and he was up to 8570 chips, the guy across the table with 4670, and me up top with 2365, with the short stack at under 700 chips to my immediate right. God that sucked. But the short stack doubled through the guy across the table shortly afterwards, and then he thankfully called my allin reraise preflop with his A6o against my TT, and somehow I dodged the other 16 aces in the deck to get back up to 4300 chips for myself and the guy across the table, and still 8200 chips for the FCD to my left, down to three-handed for a winner-take-all shot in tonight's Monday 1k. I knew I needed to be the one to eliminate the guy across the table with his nice stack if I were to have any realistic shot to beat FCD, but then this hand went down where across-the-table guy raised allin on the flop with top pair King kicker, and FCD called almost his entire leading chipstack with, well, you guessed it, another naked flush draw:

Worst. Call. Ever. Coming from the big stack with just 3 players left and winner take all, this was just about the worst move imaginable for that clown with 100k in lifetime mtt winnings to make. But he did it anyways. And full tilt said thank you in its customary way as well:

Sick. This made me about a 3.8-to-1 chip dog heading into heads-up play, and I knew my chances were slim. Just about the only weapon I had against this donkey was that I knew he was an FCD and I guess had to hope he would chase in some dumb situations like he clearly had done here since I don't ever get strong cards at the end of tournaments it seems. The heads-up match with this guy ended up lasting over 40 minutes, which was brutal but I guess in the end should not be too surprising since even I in the short stack heads-up had more tan 35 big blinds when we sat down to settle our differences mano a mano. I did get KK once and did not get my reraise called preflop. I found QQ early as well, but an Ace on the flop and a King on the turn (of course) led me to lose just a small pot to FCD's K8 after the river came down. At the first break I was down exactly 13,000 to 3500 chips, and still feeling pretty pissy about the way this whole thing had shaken out.

Shortly into hour 2, I raised preflop with AT, and FCD called. Flop came KT6 with two diamonds. I figured the odds were high that I had the best hand, so I bet out 660 chips into the 720-chip pot, about a fifth of my remaining stack at the time, and he reraised me pretty quick allin here:

I decided the quick bet and the allin sizing just didn't sound like a King to me, and that I knew I had 5 outs against even a King-high hand anyways. He hadn't reraised me preflop so I wasn't concerned about AK or even really KQ, but KJ, KT, etc. were always possible. In the back of my mind I knew that flush draw was there too, and having seen him dump off a significant chip lead already once tonight on nothing more than a naked flush draw, and with me sitting on second pair top kicker, I decided to go for it. I was already down so much in chips I figured I wasn't losing much if he did in fact have big slick or something. I called and he showed this:

FCD!! FCD!! FCD!! Seriously. This is such horrible big stack poker I just cannot believe that this guy has won nearly a hundy large playing mtt's on full tilt. When you're the prohibitive big stack in a tournament and down to just a few players left, the last thing you should ever want to do is get it in with a draw against a guy who's already bet before and after the flop. Why would you ever want to jeopardize a nice chip lead on a 35% shot against a guy who's already shown strength and is therefore not likely to fold his short stack at this point in the hand? With just 9 outs? Makes no sense at all. For the record, I think pushing with a fairly short stack in this spot -- as long as there is some fold equity given the amounts of chips involved -- makes some sense. That guy has not nearly as much to lose and a lot more to gain. But to risk your entire 4-to-1 chip lead on just a naked flush draw against me having bet preflop and on the flop already, that is pure suicide and is the exact opposite of how you should want to be playing your large stack shorthanded in any tournament or sng. Anyways, miraculously he did not hit, and suddenly I was back in this thing, down only 9620 to 6880 in chips. Dam what a bad play, I can't even believe it now as I review the screenshots today.

Maybe 15 hands later, I checked preflop with K8o, he minraised to 240 chips, and I called. The flop came a delicious K84, this time with two hearts. Knowing this guy was an FCD even on the turn card, I checked here, because I had top two pairs, the only two pairs I will ever normally slow play with in nlh as I have mentioned here several times. He checked behind, I bet 2/3 the pot on the turn when an offsuit Queen came, which he called. The river then brough an offsuit 6, where I went for the massive overbet for value and pushed allin in this spot:

He instacalled with this:

Now that is just a cooler hand right there for him, though he should probably have bet his top pair shit kicker on the flop, where I would have likely raised and he might have gotten away from his hand. He should probably have raised his top pair shitty kicker on the turn, opting instead to just call, and I give myself a lot of credit for slow playing top two pairs on the flop to perfection. That said, this particular river card is I'm sure the only reason he called me down, and suddenly it was I with the chip lead, 13,400 to 3100 chips, determined not to give that lead back up to this guy who had played bad and gotten lucky so many times during a short tournament.

I would love to say that from here I just dominated, but that's just not how the cards are. I lost a medium-small pot with top pair to his flopped two pairs. I chased a couple of flush draws -- unable to give up the possible irony of busting the FCD by hitting a flush draw of my own -- and lost small pots as a result. I had a few railers at this point and they would have seen me get back down to around even with the guy over the next 15 or 20 minutes once or twice, but each time I came storming back, all the while just waiting for another good starting hand with which to hopefully trap this chasedon of a player. But for all his donkchasery, he was simply not much of a bluffer, and that made it difficult for me to get paid big with my big hands unless he also happened to make a big hand, or a big draw, which was pretty infrequent. I tried stalling him out for a while once I got the big chip lead, I tried playing fast, but basically nothing could get this guy off his game.

I have to say again, all of the hundreds of sngs I have played over the past couple of months really came in handy again at a time like this, as I am just super super comfortable when shorthanded at tournament final tables of all sizes these days. I simply cannot overemphasize enough the importance to anyone interested in final tabling and winning large mtt's of playing a lot of sngs to hone and practice your final table and shorthanded play. There is just no substitute for hundreds of sngs of experience in playing shorthanded with a big chip lead, shorthanded as the small stack, shorthanded as a desperately small stack, shorthanded with even stacks, etc. Go out and play some sngs, at any buyin level you are comfortable with, really, if you are truly interested in bettering your end game in mtts. You will not be disappointed. It was these very skills that I relied on in playing from the small stack at first, and then on maintaining my chip lead and even fighting my way back from even once again in what turned out to be a real marathon heads-up battle with this flush-chasing donkey.

Anyways, I played Aces with kickers higher than 8s pretty hard before the flop against the FCD, and I tended to play any top pair fairly strongly as well which is pretty usual for me in heads-up play. Knowing what an FCD LegacyRik was firsthand, I ended up calling a lot of his bets on the flop, and then betting out or raising his smallish bets on the turn when the likely draws on the board had not come in, and all of these moves worked out well for me and enabled me to climb back up to around a 3.5-to-1 chip lead. Eventually, with me up to 12,430 to 4070 in chips, I saw a free flop from the button with 85s, which came down 952 all clubs. I had no clubs in my hand, but I sensed that this might be my chance to get the FCD to show his true colors and chase just about any decent one-card club flush draw in his hand. Figuring my middle pair was likely best at this point in an unraised pot preflop, I checked, waiting to see if a club fell on the turn before committing any substantial part of my stack, and just hoping he might have happen to have te Ace, King or Queen of clubs in his hand and be unable to let it go due to his FCD ways. He checked behind pretty quickly. Hmmmm. So far so good on the flush draw read, and hopefully he doesn't just have a 9 for top pair on the board. Well, those concerns disappeared when a beautiful offsuit 8 fell on the turn, making me now two pairs on a completely raggy board, and yet still that pesky one-card flush draw out there as well. So here I bet out around 2/3 the pot, 440 chips into the 530-chip pot, and my opponent thought briefly before raising me to 1440 chips, more than a third of his existing stack. Clearly he was committed here, and with my two pairs and the unlikelihood of him having flopped a flush in this spot, I had to push it on the assumption that he might very much call with just the one-card flush draw based on several examples I had seen at the table during the night:

He called for the rest of his chips, and showed this:

Bingo! FCD strikes again. It's amazing how consistent some people's poor play can be, and therefore how exploitable. The river ragged off:

and that's how I got into tonight's Monday 1k Christmas Eve special on full tilt!

So I'll see you tonight for Mondays at the Hoy, the $6 turbo rebuy special, on full tilt, and if you're around, feel free to rail me in the Monday 1k this evening as well!

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Friday, December 21, 2007

Oh What a Night

Oh what a night is right! By far the biggest prize ever won by a poker blogger in a poker blogger tournament was awarded last night to the winner of the series-ending BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions, and that prize went to none other than BBT killer jeciimd. Although I was not privy to his hole cards other than what he told me a few times on the IM, from watching it was clear that jec won the incredible 18k prize package for two to the Aussie Millions in January by playing the exact same way he has played all of the BBT tournaments that occurred in both tournament series that we ran this year: by being patient, and by getting paid when he made his moves.

It sounds so simple, doesn't it? I mean, I saw jec get a lot of good cards in the BBTwo, which of course makes this strategy work so well and makes it something that renders it impossible for a guy like me to just patiently wait for the good cards. That said, jec's good fortune did not even approach that of some of the other well-known bloggers who played in the BBTwo, and that doesn't even get in to the first BBT where I would not say jec got good cards at all. The guy ended BBT1 in 3rd place overall on the leaderboard, where I kind of screwed him although I bet most people don't know this. As you may recall I ended up winning or getting to the final two in three tournaments in the last couple of weeks of the first BBT, rocketing myself in the last week to a fourth-place finish, one behind jec, such that jec won something like $340 in cash while I won the Nintendo Wii that I've written so much about for fourth place. Being a good 15 years beyond my video gamer days (there was a time when I could take Jeremy Roenick and kick any of your asses in Sega Hockey 1993), jec had already expressed an interest in the Wii and I basically agreed then and there to just sell it to him once I received it. Long story short, I got the thing in the mail, and I just wanted to hook it up once, you know, just to see what all the hubbub was about. Fast forward about two days later of nonstop playing, and I had to give jec the bad news that I was keeping the Wii. It's something I have felt bad about ever since that day, but not that bad as I continually beat the tar out of Sarah and that fucker Elisa every night in Wii Tennis. Anyways, now I officially don't feel bad about it anymore.

So jec also ran his way through the field in the BBTwo, crushing everyone in his path, and making over $2700 in the process of systemaically demolishing every last one of us by all standards. I mean, to be honest I don't put a lot of stock in the leaderboard to the first BBT, and that's even including my own 4th place finish. That leaderboard scoring system was so bad that I think I actually turned ghey for a little while, awarding points every time someone finished in the top half of the field. I'm dreaming about Brad Pitt here just thinking about that. Jec took advantage of that scoring system better than anyone, ending in 3rd place despite losing a nice chunk o' cash in the series, and like I said that just does not mean much of anything to me in genuine poker skills terms. But the BBTwo was the Real Deal without a doubt. With a scoring system that clearly rewarded actual tournament success play and awarded points based not on people playing like tightydonks but rather on people lasting far, making final tables, and winning the dam things, jec totally shined. He crushed us all, and as Goat and I were discussing this morning on the girly chat, the guy has clearly figured out the System for beating the blonkaments. He is without a doubt one of the most patient players on the blogger circuit, and it clearly pays off for him.

And you know what I love most of all about jec winning this whole shebang here? Jec works his ass off at his poker game, moreso than just about anyone. The guy reads almost as many poker books as me, and you can literally always count on him currently being in the middle of some poker text or another. In my opinion jec's no-limit holdem game basically blew anus when I first got to know him, which was I guess around a year ago or so online (we've never met in person) through an introduction from a mutual friend over a girly chat room. I literally remember jec not knowing how to steal the blinds -- when, who or how -- and spending a lot of time chatting with him about that (little did he know he had come to the Master on that particular topic). His game was soft, passive, and just generally nowhere near sufficient to succeed in this game. Even during the first BBT I think jec improved dramatically through the competition and the repetition with the same players and playing the same game again and again in a setting where we all had a real incentive to improve and suceed. Although, the real improvement in jec's nlh game I think has come since the BBT1 ended, where jec had a real Man's reaction to his BBT1 performance. Instead of yukking it up about finishing in 3rd place on the TLB, instead jec was well aware that something was wrong with his game to have lost as much money and not final tabled hardly at all. Since then I know jec has read at least 5 or 10 poker books (maybe more) because we chat about them just about every night, and dam if the guy is not out there practicing what he's reading and what he's learning almost every single night on the virtual or live felt. As I said, he is one of those guys who really takes the game, and his game, totally seriously, and I for one have to say that it is a fucking pleasure to see someone like that winning a prize like this. I don't plan to write any more about jec's incredible performance last night here today -- hopefully a certain someone who won 18 thousand samolians last night will actually make a blog post about it hint hint -- but again, congratulations out to jec who waited patiently all through the aggro and the pushing and the bluffing and everything that everyone who sat and watched the whole tournament saw, and when he made his moves near the end it was when he had cards and was ahead for the most part. Just. Incredible.

In other news, lucko took down the BBTwo TLB freeroll, which was a $1000 freeroll put up by full tilt for the top 50 players on the BBTwo leaderboard. So the competition was tough in that one, and it was roughly twice the size of the ToC, and lucko took it down. I'm sure he played his typical strong game to get 'er done, though I have to admit to not watching the TLB freeroll at all during the night due to the ToC, and of course to the regular Riverchasers tournament running at the same time. In that Riverchasers event, in light of events this week I decided I was going to play like an abject moron, which is exactly what I did. And amazingly, it worked out for me again and again and again, leading me eventually to a 4th place finish out of 30 runners and another cash in the RC as a result. It's incredible to me that I lasted this far, given the way I played the game and the number of apologies I probably owe people who actually came out to try on this night.

In case you're wondering exactly what I mean or think I'm in some way exaggerating when I say this, allow me to show you the fifth hand of the entire tournament. This could not have been more than 2 minutes after the thing started. Utg limps for the 40-chip big blind, with everyone's stack still right around the starting level of 3000, so we're talking about 75 big blinds as the effective stack here. So utg limps for 40, and utg+1 limps as well for 40 chips. Two players fold, and then Riverchasers Rich raises it up, I think to 80 chips for the minraise. I took this as an aggressive move, minraising two limpers with still four players left to act before the flop, probably indicative of KK, AA, or AK, and probably nothing other than that. I look down on the button to find T8s. A soooooted one-gap connector. How could I not play this against such a tight range, right? I can bust this guy right here and now if I nail this flop. But of course I'm not just going to call this guy with the strong hand, no way, I'm going to reraise. And what's the dumbest thing I can think of?

A small reraise. Why the phuck not, right? So I put in the reraise to a still small 340 chips with my T8s. Everyone else folds back to Rich, who pauses momentarily and then minrereraises again, this time to a 600 chips (these numbers may be a little bit off for you hand history whores, but as always the point is still crystal clear right there). At this point, yet another minraise from Rich could only mean one thing and one thing alone -- pocket Astins. And yet I was not deterred. Determined to play this thing out the way I was, I minrerereraised his ass right back, for the dreaded fourth raise in the hand up to 860 chips. Rich responds by min rererereraising again, putting in the fifth raise of the hand and bringing it up to 1120 chips to play as seen here:

At this point you could bet your life that he has pocket Astins, and he must be putting me on pocket Kings or even another pair of Astins. Absolutely hell bent on playing as donkishly as possible with so many big blinds in our stacks and me so obviously behind his clear as day pocket Astins, there was only one move for me at this point:

Yup. Another minraise, this one a rerererereraise to 1380 chips. Sure I knew I was behind his Astins, but with so many BBs in play I knew I could stack him completely if I hit my hand, and it was a soooooted one-gapper after all. Well, I was saddened at this point when Rich put in the seventh and final raise of the hand, just bumping it up to allin. I was bummed we couldn't go back and forth minraising our entire 75-BB stacks into the pot, but of course I insta-called the allin. And wouldn't ya know it, you know what they say about the 7th raise in a hand, right?

So this is how I started off my Riverchasers run last night:

Again, to Rich, I am truly sorry. And those of you who read here often will note that you will not hear me saying that very often. But I played just like this, pushing allin against obvious made hands for huge stacks with just naked flush draws and hitting (sorry Dabag!), and just generally pushing allin every time I raised preflop throughout the entire middle portion of the tournament, whether it was utg with A9o, in middle position with 98s, you name it and I pushed allin with it. It was actually incredibly fun, seeing how the other half lives for the first time in my entire life, although I have to say that I could never, ever play like that regularly. It took ten times more effort to keep playing uberdonkishly, and it was about 100 times more stressful as far as trying to preserve any chips that I had left, had I actually given a shizznot about that. Anyways, I played like this basically all the way through, cashing in the tournament in 4th place overall and ruining a lot of people's nights who actually came to play in the Riverchasers in the process, and I guess it felt good. If nothing else, as I said above just getting to see how the other half runs in these things for one night was a really fun and I think useful experience for me as far as putting things into perspective and being able to get into other people's heads. And I mean hey, how many times go you get to put in the sixth raise in a hand with T8s preflop, right? Heh heh heh.

OK I guess that's all for today. I look forward to putting some actual fucking poker hands back up on this site next week, but today it really should be all about jeciimd, his incredible performance not just in winning the Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions but really all throughout the BBTwo, and now in his chance to represent himself and represent all of us in the land down undah in January in what will easily be the largest buyin tournament he has ever played in, by, oh, about 12,000 USD. Good times. For those of you who have played live in the big buyin events before, I think that anything we can do to give jec advice on playing in his first big one like this will be a good thing, something which I plan to focus on at some point before jec leaves for Oz next month. For now, to jec, I say live it, love it, revel in it and let it burn an indelible mark into your brain what you have done to the competition all throughout this year. Coming from where you started just a short time ago, and knowing the work that you put into your game and into playing well and always improving, I literally could not be any happier for you, and for us as a group to have such a serious player representing us in the Aussie Millions.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Another Mookie Exit, and the BBTwo ToC Fearsome Foursome

So I guess a little bit of blog drama helped to clear LJ's head as it helped to clear my own a little bit, as LJ pushed the pedal to the metal and won the Mookie this week. So you can add LJ to the long and ever-growing list of players who have won the Mookie while I still have not. Although I lasted pretty far this week, busting I think in 20th place out of 69 runners, like I said a few weeks ago I really didn't play well at all in the tournament. Basically every single chip I won in this tournament came from one of two things. First, I was dealt pocket Aces not once but twice, my usual quota for a whole year of Mookie's, and on top of that, I only got sucked out on allin preflop by a lower pocket pair one of those two times! Can't complain about that! Obviously. And the only other source of chips for me on the night were 14 open-steals of Speaker's big blind from my small blind. 14 out of 14 times, no raise, no call from Joe. Early on when I first was seated at this table, those steals did not amount to much, but 90 minutes later by the middle stages of the event that was the only thing keeping me going. It became a joke for everyone at the table after a while, because literally every single time the action folded to me in the small blind -- with zero exceptions -- I raised, and every single time Joe folded, despite knowing what a stealy bitch I am and despite him sitting on a large stack basically all through the tournament thanks to his winning I think 85 races in a row to start.

Eventually though all the stealing would catch up with me as everyone including myself and Joe knew it would, as I raised allin with my shortish stack from early position at a shorthanded table with AJ, and Speaker instacalled with what turned out to be 55. Lucky for him none of the three players still to act behind him got involved in the pot, and he flopped a set (sound familiar?) to send me packing. I will admit to not understanding the logic of letting me steal with abandon all through the night without ever taking a stand even one time but then instacalling for a full quarter of his stack with a small pocket pair with three players still to act and knowing you can't be ahead by more than 1%, but in the end the guy was a race-winning machine on the night, and like I said, I didn't play well at all, even misplaying my two AA hands for the most part so I got nothing to complain about. And at least Joe got the memo about the instacalling, because he got in there so quick with his 55 after letting me raise with abandon all night that you just had to know he was going to win by the end no matter what cards fell on the flop or turn. I was happy for Joe and thought for sure he was going to take the whole thing down with the way he was winning in races through more than 2/3 of the tournament, but it looks like LJ made a nice run at the end and busted out with I think the largest tournament she has ever won, other than one 90-person sng. Don't quote me on that last one but, despite a number of huge cashes in mtts, I don't specifically recall her winning outright an "mtt" tournament with 70 or more players in it before.

So tonight is the big BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions, as well as the BBTwo Tournament Leaderboard Freeroll for the top 50 point scorers during the 27 tournaments comprising the BBTwo. Sadly yours truly will not be participating in either tournament, but I played so bad in the BBTwo tournaments that any end-of-series tournament that includes me would be a joke and a half. Nonetheless, I am really excited for tonight, in particular for the ToC, because the winner of the ToC will walk away this evening with an 18k prize package for two to the Aussie Millions nlh tournament in January. It's a huge prize and there will be 27 total runners vying for it in the winner take all event scheduled for this evening at 10pm ET. 25 of those players won their way in to the ToC via emerging victorious from blonkamewnt minefields, with XxMagiciaNxX and jeciimd each winning two seats during the tournament series, making 25 winner entrants, plus our two write-in entry winners in Julius Goat and Fuel55.

The total ToC field includes (I am trying to include the right link for everyone's blog I have knowledge of. I guarantee I screw up or leave out at least one of these):


Now I've already seen a couple of interesting odds posts on the ToC coming up on Thursday evening, and I'm not about right now to sit down and make a comment on everyone on the list above, including the few people I think are the worst poker players on the list. Although that would be enjoyable and you all probably deserve that, I guess I have insulted people enough this week and don't feel like right now is the right time for all that. And plus, and I've written about this before, I think truly that any individual on the list could win it. Frankly I think mostly every blonkament in the series has been dictated by probably more than 90% luck -- in all its forms as I've discussed here previously -- and less than 10% skill. Maybe that's been true of every blonkament, although the same people seem to win a whole lot more of the blonkaments than others so I don't think I really feel that blonkaments in general are 90% luck-based. But I definitely do think that about the BBTwo tournaments. Frankly I thought the same thing about the first BBT, where a couple of players seemed to fare far better in things completely beyond their control than everyone else in the field over the span of 39 poker tournaments, but I definitely feel the same way about the BBTwo.

So, I've been struggling with the best way to make predictions for who will win the ToC. I don't want to just make a comment about everyone like some other people have, because mainly that's been done already and I think I would not add much value to anything. And I'm not going to post odds on everyone either, it's just too silly for a 27-person sng where basically I expect luck to play a very significant factor. That said, I've thought it over and I'm going to go back to where this whole thing started with me, when I first made a prediction of four players from whom I believed the eventual winner would emerge. The very first time I did this, I nailed it with Lucko going on to win the Riverchasers tournament that very evening. So today I thought I would do it again.

So, without further adieu, in no particular order here is my fearsome foursome of players for tonight's BBTwo Aussie Millions Tournament of Champions, one of whom I believe will win the tournament outright, along with some explanation of what went into my decision:

1. Astin
2. cmitch
3. cracknaces
4. twoblackaces

There it is. There are obviously a lot of great players I did not include on the list, and again to be clear this is purely for fun as I am quite sure that the cards and not the skill will play the most significant role in how this all shakes out. But Astin is without a doubt the luckiest player I know in our group, over the longest period of time, and frankly I think he is pretty skilled as well at nlh despite what others may or may not think. And the other three guys on my list are pretty much all great poker tournament players, with demonstrated successes in both small- and big-field tournaments. Twoblackaces has been on a tear in the blonkaments recently, and I've played sngs with him as well so I know he knows his way around a small field. Chad I think goes without saying, he is poker dominant. cmitch is one of the best poker players in our group, be it cash or tournament. So that's my foursome.

I thought I would mention, I'm skipping jeciimd, who not only completely obliterated the field in the BBTwo but who also finished I think 3rd overall in BBT1, because I just don't think he has a lot of high-pressure tournament experience and I don't believe he plays a lot of smaller-field sng type of tournaments. I know kaja was also up there but again I haven't quite seen the small-field tournament wins out of him for the most part, even though both of these guys are obviously great players and running very well right now. If Iggy and Daddy played more tournaments in general I would be more apt to go with them, and I get the feeling that Lucko is maybe a bit cold lately, though I base that on nothing other than lack of big tournament finishes posted on his blog of late and not on any personal knowledge. Lucko's friends, who I'm sure are all great players, I just don't know enough about, although I can only assume that their lack of mega experience playing against most of the players in this field can only hurt them somewhat in the ToC. I thought of picking emptyman because I think he is a good dark horse as well for this thing, but I guess I just haven't quite seen the nlh tournament victories coming from him as from some of the other guys in this field. In the end, any of the people I've mentioned above, and as I've said really any of the people in the entire field, can clearly win this thing tonight, and I'm looking forward to seeing the action live this evening, but I'll go with Astin, cmitch, KOD and twoblackaces to round out my fearsome foursome of horseys.

Gooooooo horseeeeeeyyyyyyyys! ToC, tonight 10pm ET on full tilt!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mookday, an End to the Silliness, and Thinking Before you Act in Poker

Mookie day. Why do I keep looking so forward to this thing again? Despite having no chance of ever winning this tournament, I'll always love the Mookie and it really makes the middle of the week fun for me. Unlike previous years, I've spent so much of my poker time this year focusing on cash games and lately on sngs, I have probably played a literal tenth the number of mtts that I played in the past two years. If you take the blonkaments out of the picture, it's probably even less. Big tournaments are just not something I focus on anymore like they once were. But I'm still as in to poker as ever, and hopefully that shows from my ongoing commitment to poker talk here at the blog. This despite the last couple days of fun and games here.

I don't really have a whole lot to add to everything from the past few days, other than to say that in my view I think people's reactions have far, far outpaced anything that led to those reactions, at least anything that came from me. But after the recockulous threads here from the past couple of days I guess I wanted to give some closure to the whole thing from my end. I guess first I should link to this post, which I guess says it all as far as what one blogger -- named LJ by the way -- is feeling about me these days. Hopefully everyone can go and read that post and get their jollies out about what a dick I am. Get the Jergerns™ ready guys. Personally, I would rank this as maybe the third or fourth most personally attacking post against me that I've seen in my three years plus of blogging about poker every day of the work week. It's not the worst, but it's up there. For what it's worth, and I communicated this to LJ via email last night, I do not feel the reaction is anywhere close to justified by anything I've said here. Obviously LJ disagrees with that and I support her in feeling and voicing her disagreement. I will stand by my opinion about the hand in question 100%, and personally I don't think that the way I went about mentioning my feelings was wrong or inappropriate, though again I accept that reasonable minds could maybe differ on that point. Again, I'm all about that disagreement.

I also wanted to address something that I have received personal emails and girly chats about and something which was also commented about in LJ's post above. I cannot and would not want to try to stop anyone from accusing me of "trashing" someone in my blog about a play they made. People should have whatever reaction they have to reading one of my posts or anyone's post for that matter, and if they feel a certain way then they should write it down if they see fit in whatever medium they would like. That's how I handle my own interaction with the blogiverse and I would expect nothing less from anyone else, no matter who they are. That being said, and I've written about this here before several times for my truly longtime readers, I purposely choose not to include people's names or links when I discuss a bad play that someone made in my view. I try very very hard not to call individual, identified people names in my blog, nor to ever attack them personally but always instead to keep things about poker, and on an anonymous basis at that. I generally do include names or links when I see someone make a good play -- witness again ScottMc's abuse of me in the MATH just from yesterday's post -- and I do that because I think it's nice to give credit to people for playing well when someone does it. If someone makes a big tournament score or wins a ton of money playing cash and I know about it, I am likely to blog about it and to identify them by name. But if I see a bad play, my choice is sometimes to blog about it, and when I do I almost never use someone's actual name or link. The only reason for that is that I have no desire or intention whatsoever to make someone feel bad or to embarrass them or call them out at all. There's no other sinister reasoning behind it, and I am totally confident that my true readers know this beyond a shadow of a doubt. When I'm not even using someone's name or link, then I fail to see how I can be described as trashing a person at all. If you disagree, then so be it. Disagree away. And I won't even get in to the notion of someone coming to LJ's support in her blog about how sad it is that people trash other bloggers for their play the morning after blonkaments. In LJ's blog of all places. The ironing is delicious (Trip, that reference is for you). Suffice it to say that I have for some time and will continue to comment here if I witness someone making what I view to be a bad play. It's not about sour grapes -- the AQ hand with LJ didn't even have anything to do with me at all for example, nor do many of the other hands I mention here (some of the bad plays I discuss here actually benefitted me greatly) -- but if I think there is something to be gained for someone, some wisdom to be gleaned about this game from a particular play I saw, I will continue to post about it here.

This is what I do. This blog has been therapeutic for me in many ways and it has helped to me improve my own poker game immensely. I've written about this many times before too, but I think there is obviously no coincidence that I started blogging daily in January 2005, and I made my first big mtt win at the end of that very same month, after several months of pure losing in online play. But more than helping my own game, the biggest reason I blog is to give something back to the community. I also surely see no coincidence that, for example, my blog is listed in basically every single Mookie winner's profile as far as a place they love to read, and more than that, a place where they have found significant information, help and improvement in their own poker games from reading. That is why I'm doing this, still going long and strong after three years of blogging about poker every day. Every time I see that in a Mookie profile, or see someone's comment in their own blog about something helpful to their game that they found on my blog, it empowers me. That's what keeps me going. Yes I must have more haters (literally) than any other blogger out there. I speak my mind and I don't pull many punches when it comes to poker. But say whatever you want about me, I am here trying my damnedest to help other people's games, not to tear anyone down. I have profiled literally hundreds of hands that I played poorly just to get people thinking, and to share ideas from lots of players who are highly skilled and analytical about poker. And you people have told me time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time again how horribly I played these hands. I leave the comments up there for everyone to see, no matter how derogatory or downright nasty they are to me, my game, my friends, my family, whatever. I write strategy posts. Yes it helps my own game quite often to codify and organize my thoughts on a particular element of poker strategy like this, but if you think I'm doing that just for me, then you are seeing but not really seeing, reading but not really understanding. I could write these things down on paper for myself then, or in a personal online journal that only I have access to. If you can't appreciate my desire to help others instead of hurt them through the way I deliberately decline to call out someone when I discuss a play they made that I found to be questionable or flat-out bad or whatever, and from what I post on this blog in general, then so be it. I can live with that. But to portray me as someone who is out "trashing other people" for their play after blonkaments, I find that characterization to be not only unfair, but really not accurate for a guy who takes so many steps not to even identify the person or persons I'm talking about, and for someone who is recognized repeatedly as helping so many other bloggers' games in many different ways. I spend hours every single day preparing for and writing these posts, and while I won't deny some element of blogging for my own self, it's 90% done for you. All of you. Characterizing me as someone who trashes other people in my blog is in my opinion, and perhaps my opinion alone, doing a great disservice to me as well as to the many others who read here and actually improve their own games from what I have to say. Just my two cents, and with the incredible number of haters I have out there there is no doubt a ton of disagreement with my view on this. So be it. But that my friends is all the closure I think I have on this little bit of "high school drama" as it's been described from the past couple of days.

That, and to just mention that I can't wait to see who the first donk is who posts a totally inappropriate and insulting picture of a handicapped child to make fun of people being annoyed over the past few days. Sometimes people just kill me.

Before I forget, I wanted to mention something about ScottMc's elimination of me from the MATH the other night that I failed to mention the other day. So if you recall, he reraised me preflop, I stoopidly called his preflop raise into a heads-up pot with JTs, and then had the worst possible thing happen to me which is exactly why you don't call preflop rereraises into heads-up pots with JTs: I hit the flop pretty well, just well enough to end up losing all my chips into it. The flop came all raggy with two of my suit, and I bet, scott raised, and then I reraised him allin in a large bet. Scott had pocket Kings. And yet, you know what Scott did before he called my allin raise and busted me from the tournament when my 9 outs failed to hit? He fucking thought about it! I mean, this guy had an overpair, a big overpair, and the flop had come all raggy after I had raised and called a reraise preflop, so there was no reason for him to really think I had hit this particular flop hard. And yet, when I put him to the test for all his chips early in a tournament, he actually fucking paused to think about whether he should call. That right there is a good poker player my friends. Frankly, the pause there should be automatic for anybody with just one pair on the flop at any point with a big stack in a tournament, but the bottom line is that there cannot be more than 2 or 3 bloggers total who are anything but insta insta instacalling in that spot. Scott has repeatedly shown me something with his play whenever I've sat down at his table or just watched him from the rail, and with all the ranting and raving I do about the recockulous instacallers out there, who are basically just about always wrong to be instacalling like they do, I wanted to be sure to mention this specifically here because it is just about the single best lesson anyone could learn about playing competitive poker. Overpair Kings on a raggy flop, against a guy who is known to be aggressive, first few rounds of an mtt, and yet he still stops to think for a good 10 or 15 seconds when put to the test for a large call of much of his remaining chipstack. That is a Man right there. I wouldn't have folded that hand to me in that spot either, but dam if I wouldn't have paused for a few seconds to consider the possibilities. Could my opponent have flopped a set? Two pairs? What about big draws, like an Ace plus a flush draw. Am I getting the right price here to call and be facing those twelve outs twice? Am I prepared to take on that kind of risk this early in a tournament where I think I have a skill advantage over the other players? That's the kind of analysis that a real playa does in poker, it doesn't matter what level you're at or what level the competition is either. Even a doofus can pick up a hand or flop a set just as often as you or me. Scott earned even more respect from me for that play, and I just wanted to specifically call it out here.

And, since Scott is male and not female, I don't have any issues with him on a gender basis after all. God sometimes people just kill me, have I mentioned that recently?

OK so tonight is the Mook, 10pm ET as always on full tilt, password as always is "vegas1". Be there for the most fun the bloggers have as a large group every single week, week in and week out. And I should warn you, this whole business from earlier in the week has actually created a considerable sense of calm about my game. I played a few tournaments late last night, and basically played as well and as patiently as I have played in quite some time. I took down 2 out of 3 more $55 turbo sngs for a total profit of a little over three hundy on the night in only maybe 90 minutes of play, and I even ran well in the 14.5k guaranteed 6max knockout tournament at 11pm ET Tuesday as well, eventually succumbing just before the money when I ran an Ace into a better Ace in a blind vs blind confrontation. But I'm feelin' good, and hopefully getting some things off my chest that have been bothering me for some time this week is going to help to limit my tiltability as we move forward from here. I guess what I'm trying to say is, tonight might be my night in the Mookie....Oh and tune into BuddyDank radio as well for the Mook which I imagine should be a good time as always for the Mookie. I will try to do the same as I make another deep run to the final table this evening. See you then.

Oh yeah, don't forget Tripjax's "Blogger Luck Game" coming up on Sunday night at 10pm ET on full tilt. This is an $11 buyin private tournament, the password fittingly is "lucky", and there will be 3-minute blind rounds. And the best part, 100 starting chips. Delicious. Now we will get to see just who is the luckiest of them all. I will definitely be there, and hoping desperately not to have this guy at my starting table. I may have written the book on super turbo tournament strategy, but no way I can withstand four pocket Kings in the first 30 hands of this thing. No effin way.

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